Yoder Wins 2nd Full Term As McLean County Coroner | WGLT

Yoder Wins 2nd Full Term As McLean County Coroner

Nov 3, 2020

A battle between two nurses for the office that investigates deaths in McLean County ended in a win for incumbent Republican Kathy Yoder.

Yoder did not return a phone call seeking comment late Tuesday.

She was leading with about 60% of the vote, or a 16,000-vote margin, over Democratic challenger Abbi Sorrells at around 11:15 p.m.

Sorrells said the campaign was more work than she thought it would be. She said the pandemic hampered her efforts to get out and meet people.

Despite the loss, she said it was worth running to help the Democratic party.

"I met so many amazing people not just on the Democratic side, but on the Republican side. I won't do it again in the future, but I do not regret my decision to run at all," said Sorrells. "Politics is not my jam at all but given the circumstances I feel I did as good as I could."

She said she has had a good job offer as an emergency nurse practitioner waiting for a while that she can now accept.

Sorrells said during the campaign she’s passionate about a number of community health issues, including drug dependency, suicide prevention, access to mental health services, and diet and exercise.

Yoder declined a joint WGLT interview with Sorrells. But during her tenure, Yoder has emphasized some of the same things, including suicide prevention, the opioid epidemic, mental health services, and even slip and falls by the elderly.

Yoder also has over the years talked about the need for the coroner to provide compassion and emotional support for the families of the bereaved.

Yoder was appointed coroner in 2014 when Beth Kimmerling retired. She won a four-year term in 2016. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing. She is a McLean County native.

Sorrells campaigned against Yoder’s management.

“There has been a big turnover. In fact, in a six-month window, there was a 100% turnover in the full-time staff, and a lot of that had to do with the salary and the work environment,” said Sorrells in a WGLT interview.

Sorrells also promised to lower the salary for the coroner to free up dollars for staff that have had a several year pay freeze.

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